NIGERIA AND THE CHALLENGES OF CLIMATE CHANGE
By Shiktra Shalangwa
Under the United Nations Climate Change Conference UNFCC or Conference of Parties COP, the Paris Agreement reached at COP21 countries agreed to take collective action on climate change to keep temperatures across the globe not more than 2oc above preindustrial level.
African countries including Nigeria agreed to build climate-resilient and low-carbon economies in their National Determined Contributions NDCs to the Paris Agreement. At COP 27 in Egypt, the decision was reached to establish a fund for responding to loss and damage to the environment that triggered climate-related changes. The fund targeted about $100 billion annually to help poor countries cut emissions and the pledge has not been met as leaders prepare for COP 28 in Dubai the United Arab Emirates from November 30 to December 12 this year.
In enhancing climate action, governments are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and low carbon usage by replacing gas with electric systems. As a result, Nigeria has taken steps to explore carbon pricing to mitigate climate change challenges in the country.
However, there is a need for improved external collaboration and community participation in climate adaptation programmes. Although the Nigerian government has taken steps to mitigate climate challenges in the country, but increase in urban migration has led to an environmental crisis that affects or contributes to climate change, causing millions to be displaced by flooding.
Climate change is a global issue that involves rising temperatures as a result of human activities. The use of fossil fuel which releases greenhouse gases traps the sun’s heat in the atmosphere making the planet’s temperature to rise. These changes have led to drought, floods, heat waves, bushfires, a decline in Arctic Sea ice, ocean warming, and marine heat waves across the globe.
Drought in East Africa has put more than 20 million people at risk of hunger. It was reported that in 2022 European heat waves led to an increase in abnormal deaths.
Records show that 3.3 to 3.6 billion people are identified as highly vulnerable to climate change around the world which calls for greater action to reverse the trends by the Conference of parties on climate change management.
The Sahel region that covers large part of West Africa suffers from the direct effects of climate change that already reduced large communities in most parts of countries like Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal and even to the North African nations of Algeria, Mauritania up to Libya with clear effects of climate change.
In line with African countries’ resolution to build climate-resilient and low-carbon economies in their National Determined Contributions NDCs to the Paris Agreement, it became necessary to ensure planned human settlements and intensive urban infrastructure development.
Amongst the intervention measures adopted in Nigeria is the enlightenment campaigns that reached out to rural communities with over 46.48 percent of the population thereby breaking language barriers in involving and sensitizing communities to stop environmental hazards practices that affect the climate with negative impacts to the communities.
Nigeria believes that building financial and industrial resilience to climate change and putting infrastructure in place to help in dealing with climate change are critical to the realization of the United Nations objectives on climate change and roll back the multi-dimensional losses to the environment around the world.
The European nations, China and America that contributed so much to the climate change pollution should do more to reduce the global greenhouse gasses that significantly contribute to climate change-related concerns for a better and environmentally friendly world.
The decision to establish a fund for responding to loss and damage to the environment that triggered climate-related changes should be taken seriously by world leaders, especially nations that play critical roles that course damage to the environment by redeeming their pledges to the COP 27 Egypt resolutions on funding to accelerated climate change related issues in the most affected developing nations especially in Africa.
Addressing climate change will create opportunities for the private sector and institutional investors as well as the creation of the desired environment for productive sectors in the agro-allied industry and climate-induced working environment to help reduce the effects of the climate, especially in the developing nations towards achieving one of the critical targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) before 2030.
World leaders should rise up to the challenges of climate change as the most affected nations and peoples are getting pushed to the wall in finding solutions to their common problems associated with climate change that require definitive action by all concerned in the world.